How creepy can big Pharma be?

[The jour­nal] which was pub­lished by Exerp­ta Med­ica, a divi­sion of sci­en­tif­ic pub­lish­ing jug­ger­naut Else­vi­er, is not indexed in the MEDLINE data­base, and has no web­site (not even a defunct one)…

George Jelinek, an Aus­tralian physi­cian and long-time mem­ber of the World Asso­ci­a­tion of Med­ical Edi­tors, reviewed four issues of the jour­nal that were pub­lished from 2003–2004. An “aver­age read­er” (pre­sum­ably a doc­tor) could eas­i­ly mis­take the pub­li­ca­tion for a “gen­uine” peer reviewed med­ical jour­nal, he said in his tes­ti­mo­ny. “Only close inspec­tion of the jour­nals, along with knowl­edge of med­ical jour­nals and pub­lish­ing con­ven­tions, enabled me to deter­mine that the Jour­nal was not, in fact, a peer reviewed med­ical jour­nal, but instead a mar­ket­ing pub­li­ca­tion for [Mer­ck].” Extract from The Sci­en­tist

If true—Elsevier at least admits the truth of the alle­ga­tion in the lat­est edi­tion of The Scientist—this is dis­grace­ful behav­ior.

Vioxx is a trade name for a class of anti-inflam­ma­to­ry drugs mar­ket­ed by Mer­ck to treat osteoarthri­tis, acute pain con­di­tions, and dys­men­or­rhoea. Mer­ck with­drew the drug from the mar­ket in late 2004 when it acknowl­edged that it was impli­cat­ed in cas­es of heart-attack and stroke. Mar­ket ana­lysts said that rev­enue from Vioxx had amount­ed to $US2.5 bil­lion every year.

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